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An introduction to the MARC record editing software MarcEdit

Converting Record from MARC to MARCXML

  1. Open MarcEdit from Start Menu
  2. Select MARC Tools
  3. Highlight MARC21 => MARC21XML in the Functions menu
  4. Click the yellow folder to select the MARC file you would like to convert into MARCXML.  
  5. Click the yellow folder below "Save as" to designate the filename for the XML files you will use after the conversion. MarcEdit will keep the file extension of previous conversions, so you may have to change the extension from .mrc or .mrk to .xml, especially if the record has been converted from .mrc to .mrk using MarcBreaker.
  6. MarcEdit will automatically maintain the character encoding of the input file. If you need the converted file to be encoded in MARC-8 select the “Translate to MARC-8” box. If the file is in MARC-8 and you would like it encoded using UTF-8 select “Translate to UTF8. For more detailed description of character conversions, see Character Conversion Tools below. 

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  1. Once you are ready, click Execute. If it is complete the dialog box should look like the screen below. Under results it will show you the time MarcEdit needed to complete the conversion
  2. The converted file can now be found in the directory specified in step 6. 

Character Conversion Tools

MarcEdit 7 has two character conversion tools: characterset conversion and character detection. To use them: 

  1. Open MarcEdit from Start Menu
  2. Select Tools on the top menu then select Character Conversion Tools

​1. Characterset Conversion

Since the process is the same for converting in and out of various text encodings, there will only be one walkthrough along with a list of encodings available natively in MarcEdit. All encodings can be converted into and out of each other using this workflow. According to the developer, MarcEdit prefers things to be encoded in UTF-8 (as opposed to MARC8) and will convert to UTF-8 when possible, though often when converting MarcEdit has options to set text encoding. MarcEdit will only perform this operation on .mrc (MARC files) or .mrk (MARC text files).

Apart from the way introduced on the top, one could also get to this function by selecting MARC Tools on the start menu and select Tools->Characterset Conversion.​ Either way, you should see this dialog box.


  1. Select “Original Encoding” to be the encoding of the source file and “Final Encoding” to be the text encoding you want the file to be converted into.
  2. Use the Source and Destination file windows to designate the file to convert and the name of the file you would like to use after the conversion.
  3. Select “Process.” When the conversion is complete you should see the following dialog box: 


​2. Character Detection

MarcEdit has an automatic character detection tool. This tool provides a way for users working with data in an unknown character encodings to actually figure out how their data might be encoded. Large data could increase its accuracy.

  1. Click the yellow folder to select the file you would like to detect its character encondings
  2. If you want to see the confidence scores in the character detection analysis, please click Verbose Results
  3. Click Detect to view the results in the Result box


Joining MARC Records

This function allows users to create one MARC file from separate MARC files. While this function can only be performed on MARC records (as opposed to MARCXML or the .mrk files), consulting Batch Conversion of MARCXML to MARC will show you how to get to a MARC file from MARCXML, the mnemonic, or any other format in batches. 

  1. Open MarcEdit from Start Menu
  2. Select MARC Tools then select Tools->MARCJoin from the top of the dialog box. 
  3. In the dialog box which appears, select the folder you would like the combined records saved to and give it a name.
  4. Once you have specified where MarcEdit will put the new joined record, click the yellow folder next to the “File(s) to” box and navigate to the folder containing the MARC records you would like to join together.
  5. Select the records you would like to combine by holding down the Shift key and selecting each record. When you are ready the window will look like this:


  1. Hit open once all files are selected. Be sure that the Join Individual Files box is checked. Just as you cannot save your file with the merged records as anything other than a MARC file, the combined file can only be saved as a MARC file. To convert the joined file see Converting Record from MARC to MARCXML. If you want to transform the new joined record into another schema or format, select it from the menu instead of using MARC=>MARCXML.
  2. Hit process. Once it is complete you will see this dialog box:


  1.  The joined file can now be found in the folder selected in step 4.
  2. You could also click "Edit File" to view and change the content.

Splitting MARC Records

This function allows users to split a MARC record into individual records which will be named according to a user-specified file naming conventions. The new files will be saved in MARC form. Just as the join function can only be performed on MARC records, this function cannot be used for anything other than MARC records. To convert a MARCXML into a MARC file, see Converting Record from MARCXML to MARC and select the relevant function (if not converting from MARCXML).

  1. Open MarcEdit from Start Menu
  2. Select MARC Tools then select Tools->MARCSplit from the top of the dialog box.
  3. You should see the following dialog box. 


  1. Click the yellow folder and select the MARC file you would like to split.
  2. Select the destination folder you would like the split records saved to. To prevent confusion, create a new folder specifically for your split files if you do not know where you would like them saved to, though if your destination is known then select it.
  3. By default MarcEdit will split the file into 1000 separate files, but put whatever number of records you would like stored in each split file. For example, if you would like to have a separate file for each record contained within the file you are splitting, put 1 in the “Records per file box.” If the “# of fields” box is checked, MarcEdit will create only as many files as specified in the “# of files” field containing the records specified in the records per file field. For example, if you are splitting a file that has 15,000 records with 1,000 per file and you enter 5 in the “# of files” field, MarcEdit will create 5 records with 1,000 records each and stop, leaving the other  10,000 records un-split. When you are ready to split the file the dialog box should look like this:


  1. Click Process. You should see the number of files generated. MarcEdit will split the file and populate which ever folder you specified with the split MARC records. To batch convert them into MARCXML, see Batch Conversion of MARC to MARCXML